OnePlus Watch 2 Review: A Refined Wear OS Battery Life Titan

OnePlus Watch 2 Is A Big, Beautiful Smartwatch That Brings Big Upgrades To OnePlus Wearables

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OnePlus Watch 2: Starting at $299.99
The OnePlus Watch 2 brings great performance and elegant design, with a WearOS hybrid setup that also ensures long battery life.

hot flat
  • Bright, sharp display
  • Multiple days of battery life
  • Sleek steel design
  • Runs Google's WearOS
    not flat
    • Only available in a beefy 47mm size
    • Missing some health and fitness features
    • Only two years of OS support
    • No LTE option
    hothardware recommended small

      OnePlus recently released its second smartwatch, and it appears to have learned some necessary lessons from the lackluster launch of its first smart wearable in 2021. The OnePlus Watch 2 has a sleek stainless steel case, a big display, a potent Snapdragon W5 processor, and days upon days of battery life. More importantly, it's a proper smartwatch that runs the latest Google WearOS, with all the refinement that entails. This watch has a solid array of fitness features, though it's missing a few things, and its $300 asking price ($249.99 currently on sale) very competitive. But if you don't mind wearing a big, chunky watch, the OnePlus Watch 2 is worth your consideration. So read on here and we'll share our honest impressions...

      OnePlus Watch 2: Industrial Design And Hardware

      There are no two ways about it: the OnePlus Watch 2 is a big wearable. You need only look at the specs to know that. It has a 47mm case, making it among the largest current-gen smartwatches. It has about the same footprint as Samsung's larger Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, but it's even thicker (12.1mm vs. 10.9mm). Further, there's only one size and no LTE variant available for this device.

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      While it's a chonker of a watch, it doesn't look or feel as big as you might expect in person. The steel case has a glossy finish and elegant, attractive lines. There's not too much embellishment around the case—it's just as large as it needs to be to contain all the components, including a whopping 500mAh battery. You don't get a (claimed) 100 hours of battery life for nothing, after all. Even with the beefy battery, this watch isn't as heavy as we expected. It's only 49g (10g lighter than Samsung's largest watch) without the strap; we chalk that up to the back being plastic instead of steel.

      Processor Snapdragon W5 + BES2700
      Display 1.43-inch 466 x 466 OLED @1000 nits
      Memory 2GB
      Storage 32GB (4GB for RTOS)
      Battery 500mAh
      OS Wear OS 4 + RTOS
      Dimensions 47 x 46.6 x 12.1 mm
      Weight 49 g (1.73 oz)
      Connectivity Wi-Fi (802.11n), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
      Colors Black Steel, Radiant Steel
      Pricing OnePlus Watch 2: $249.99 Currently On Sale At Amazon

      The case has exposed lugs to connect the band, and there's no proprietary connector like you'd see on the Apple Watch or Pixel Watch 2. So, you can swap in any strap with a standard 22mm pin. The included silicone band seems to be good quality, though. It's smooth, flexible, and doesn't accumulate dust or hair. It's not exactly flashy, but we appreciate how well it fits with the case. The lugs taper downward, helping keep the band comfortably close to your skin. This also helps the watch feel less bulky than it is.

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      There's a 1.43-inch round OLED display on the face of the OnePlus Watch 2, with an impressive 466 x 466 resolution and 1,000 nits of brightness. The screen is under a sheet of 2.5D sapphire glass. That means it's highly resistant to scratching, though less forgiving to impact than Gorilla Glass. I have, however, smacked it on a few doorframes, and the watch has held up fine. The slight curve at the edges makes swiping on the display effortless, but you don't have to go all the way to the edge. Like the Pixel Watch, this wearable has a substantial bezel around the display, but it's reasonably well-hidden by the dark system UI and inky OLED blacks.

      On the right edge of the OnePlus Watch 2, you'll find a pair of buttons. The top home button is pronounced and the bottom multifunction button is almost flush with the case. The bottom button defaults to starting a workout, but you can change the mapping for both, which is a nice touch. Our only real issue with the buttons is that the home button spins in the housing but does not work as a navigation mechanism.

      OnePlus Watch 2 3
      The Pixel Watch 2 (left) is more compact than the OnePlus Watch 2 (right).

      The OnePlus Watch 2 has a competent array of health tracking features, but this isn't the best smartwatch for the fitness obsessed. While OnePlus did a good job of making this big watch look sleek, it's still objectively chunky. It tends to slide around during workouts, so you have to tighten the strap to ensure you get reliable data. Even doing that, we saw some pretty suspicious heart rate readings. Sleep tracking is similarly problematic—this watch isn't comfortable to wear all night. It gets caught on blankets and feels too heavy. It'll be a problem if you're a fussy sleeper. The watch also lacks fall detection and ECG, which are supported on most competing wearables in this price range.

      OnePlus Watch 2: Software, Performance And Battery Life

      Setting up the OnePlus Watch 2 is a snap—it supports Google Fast Pair, so your phone will prompt you to connect. You'll have to install an app called OHealth to manage the device, however. This app includes health and fitness data as well as device settings. It doesn't have the deepest health insights, but having everything in one place is appreciated. Samsung requires you to install numerous apps, and even Google has things split between the Pixel Watch app and Fitbit.

      The device section of OHealth will look familiar to anyone who's used other Wear OS 4 devices. You have a collection of watch faces, tile arrangement, notification management, and an array of other smartwatch settings. OnePlus' default watch faces are attractive and reasonably customizable. Access to the Play Store, however, ensures you can download more watch faces than you'll ever need.


      Google no longer requires smartwatch makers to leave WearOS untouched—OnePlus made several tweaks to the interface, but in typical OnePlus fashion, you can change many of these settings. For example, the default app list is a clear knockoff of the Apple Watch, but you can switch from the "planet" interface to a list or grid layout. Most of the basic UI elements are where you'd expect. There are quick settings above the watch face, and a swipe up reveals the notifications. You can swipe left and right to access the customizable tiles. The big screen makes content like notifications and tiles easy to read, but the notification list can get very long (OnePlus doesn't bundle notifications on the watch like Samsung does).

      The OnePlus Watch 2 is a fast device, thanks to the included Snapdragon Wear W5 chip, but that's not the only processor on board. This wearable takes a hybrid approach to extend battery life. When you're actively using the watch, it runs WearOS and uses the Snapdragon chip. When high performance isn't necessary, the device switches seamlessly to the low-power BES 2700 MCU and RTOS software that works with most core WearOS features, including notifications, fitness tracking, and watch faces.

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      This all means you can get up to 100 hours of usage from the OnePlus Watch 2 without recharging. That assumes you don't change any settings, like enabling always-on display or excessive GPS workouts. In the default "Smart Mode," this watch can easily eke out three or four days of mixed usage in our testing. That's a cut above most wearables, and even with always-on display, it'll last a solid two days. We also appreciate that the low-power hybrid design means you can leave the watch sitting someplace without coming back to a dead wearable in a few hours. When the time does come for a recharge, you'll connect the magnetic charging puck to the underside of the watch. It's great to see a standard USB-C port on this charger—you can simply plug your phone charger into the watch, which is much more convenient than having a separate cable just for your wearable.

      OnePlus Watch 2 Review Conclusion: The New Standard For Wear OS Endurance?

      The OnePlus Watch 2 might be missing a few features here and there, but it's still a fantastic wearable. Its performance is class-leading, and OnePlus was smart to go with WearOS this time around. You'll have access to all the software you need, and the hybrid approach ensures you won't run out of battery too soon. Most smartwatches need a recharge every night, but you'd have to really try to drain the OnePlus Watch 2 in a single day.

      It's a wide, heavy watch that might look too large on small wrists, but it's surprisingly comfortable to wear over the course of a day. That said, the size means it's not ideal for workout or sleep tracking. If you were to use a Samsung or Google watch, you'd have access to a more fleshed out health tracking platform, as well as more fitness features. We are somewhat concerned that OnePlus only plans to support the device with software updates for two years—this would be a deal breaker for a phone, but watches aren't subject to the same security issues as phones.

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      The current sale price of the OnePlus Watch 2 is a solid deal, and it represents a good savings compared to other high-end smartwatches these days. The $350 Pixel Watch may look nicer to some and could be more comfortable, but it's tiny and gets less than half as much battery life. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 starts at $300, but it has an aluminum case and shorter battery life. The Watch 6 Classic offers a steel case and a rotating navigation bezel, but it starts at $340 for the 44mm version and goes up to $370 for 47mm.

      If you don't like the idea of charging yet another device everyday, the OnePlus Watch 2 should be your first Android smartwatch consideration. However, you'll have to look elsewhere if you need LTE in your wearable. Samsung, Google, Apple, and others offer more expensive LTE versions of their watches, but the OnePlus Watch 2 only has Bluetooth/Wi-Fi on board. If cellular connectivity isn't a requirement for you and tethering to your phone is enough, then you likely can't go wrong with the OnePlus Watch 2.
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